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What is SEECoS?

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About the SEECoS program and its origin

SEECoS, Summer Experience in the Eberly College of Science, is a six-week summer research program in the Eberly College of Science in partnership with the Penn State Upward Bound Math and Science Program (UBMS) that was designed to provide a research experience to students who attend under served school districts in Pennsylvania. It evolved from proposals entitled "So We Need More Scientists: Let's Grow Them!" and "Let's Grow Them! - Developing Space Scientists Through the Upward Bound Math and Science Program." SEECoS was developed in collaboration with the Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) Center and a sister program called SEEMS, "Summer Experience in Earth and Mineral Sciences." The UBMS Center is supported by the federal government through the TRIO program, an umbrella program which covers Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Student Support Services. The TRIO program is designed to promote educational opportunities for low income Americans by helping them to overcome class, social, and cultural barriers to higher education.

The  SEECoS program also provides enrichment to the graduate and undergraduate students who participate as research mentors.  The mentors participate in the development of the research experience and also serve as guides for the UBMS students providing an opportunity to develop skills in the development of laboratory curriculum as well as the communication of science content and science leadership.   Through this mentor partnership with the UBMS students, the SEECoS program provides all the participants with a sense of achievement, and a higher level of confidence in their abilities, in addition to a deeper understanding of research practices.

Since the UBMS Program attracts well-prepared underrepresented students who have developed quality relationships with both faculty and students in ECoS it is a great opportunity to encourage this cohort to consider matriculating to Penn State and pursue a degree in our College.

Interactions between SEECoS faculty and the UBMS program began in Summer 2006 when Dr. Donald Richards (Statistics) and Dr. Mercedes Richards (Astronomy & Astrophysics) gave 45-minute lunchtime lectures about their research to the entire UBMS group. The SEECoS research program was fully operational by Summer 2007. It involved twenty students spread out over four research groups and led by three SEECoS faculty: Dr. Jackie Bortiatynski (Chemistry), Donald Richards, and Mercedes Richards.

SEECoS Director: Lori Van Der Sluys

SEECoS Founding Directors (2006 - 2012): Dr. Mercedes Richards & Dr. Jackie Bortiatynski

SEECoS Sponsors

Funding for the SEECoS program has been provided by the Eberly College of Science, the Penn State Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, the John and Elizabeth Holmes Teas Scholarship Fund, the Department of Chemistry, the Dupont Professor Endowment Fund to Dr. Tom Mallouk, the Penn State Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (a Center for Nanoscale Science), the Smeal College of Business, the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, the National Science Foundation, and the Penn State NASA Astrobiology Institute.

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